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Crystal Palace want to sign Sam Johnstone from West Brom for free | Soccer

West Bromwich Albion v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship

Sam Johnstone kept 15 clean sheets for West Brom last season (Picture: Getty)

Sam Johnstone has agreed to join Crystal Palace when his contract with West Bromwich Albion expires this summer.

The goalkeeper’s departure from the Hawthornes has been debated at length, although Palace only really got into the frame to sign him last month and The Athletic reported that negotiations on a four-year deal have been completed.

The Eagles weren’t the first London club to be interested in Johnstone. West Brom turned down a £10m offer from West Ham last summer, while Tottenham have been in constant contact with the 29-year-old but opted to sign Fraser Forster from Southampton instead.

Crystal Palace v Manchester United - Premier League

Vicente Guaita is currently Crystal Palace’s best goalkeeper (Picture: Getty)

A A product of Manchester United Academy, Johnstone never appeared as a senior for the Red Devils but spent most of his early career on loan before joining the Hawthorns in 2018 and winning promotion to the Premier League in 2020.

Although the Baggies were relegated after just one season, Johnstone put in an admirable performance, winning the club’s Player of the Year award and earning his first caps for England before being called up to the Three Lions’ squad for last summer’s European Championship .

And while West Brom failed to return to the top flight last season, Johnstone continued to show his qualities, keeping 15 clean sheets and conceding just 33 goals in 36 games despite falling out with then-coach Valerian Ismael.

Johnstone will be Palace’s first signee of this window, with Patrick Vieira looking to build on a very successful first season in charge at Selhurst Park.

“I’m really happy with the progress we’ve had [throughout last season]’ the manager recently told the Palace website.

“We’re a different team, we have an identity and a clear vision of how we want to play the game with and without possession. That is very important to me as a leader. Nevertheless, we can always improve.”

Where Johnstone will fit in in South London is Vicente Guaita as the No1 goalkeeper but he will be 36 next season so Johnstone is likely to be gradually included in the starting XI as the season progresses.

But the signing does not bode well for current second-choice goalkeeper Jack Butland, who is now likely to be sold or at least loaned out as Middlesbrough are said to be interested in his services.

MORE: Crystal Palace interested in Tottenham’s Harry Winks with Everton also linked

MORE : Arsenal and Newcastle lead race for Napoli’s Fabian Ruiz ahead of Manchester City and Manchester United

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/21/crystal-palace-set-to-sign-sam-johnstone-from-west-brom-on-a-free-16866574/ Crystal Palace want to sign Sam Johnstone from West Brom for free | Soccer

Nate Jones

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